Will Millenials cause a headache for IT in the future?

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Credits: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

Just a few days ago, I have written about the challenge for IT departments that millenials will want to use their own private devices at work as employees in the future. If this is causing CIO’s and their IT managers headaches then better get some iboprofen now, as there is more to come…

An online study along with in-depth interviews of 400 „Millennials“, ages between 20 through 29, and 200 IT managers the U.S. from mid-sized to large corporations gives some interesting insights in the expectations of the Millenials when it comes to IT. The study was conducted by Isurus Market Research and Consulting with analysis by GigaOM Pro, and underwritten by Bomgar.

Millenials are growing up in an „instantaneous world“ of social web conversations, mobile phones, and almost permanent WiFi access. This brings new challenges for IT departments in the future as expectations are these young people are high. Millennials expect more or less immediate answers on IT support questions and all options of multi-channel communication. However, the worst is: Ideally, they could solve their technology issues themselves.

Some key findings what Millenials do…
– 71% state to have done a Google search for a solution finding at least once.
– 61% don’t turn to company support first to solve problems, while 71% say they have done a Google search for a solution at least once.
– 58% prefer to communicate in chat or text messaging, not the phone.
– 40% use a mobile device for work „on a weekly basis.“

So, if Millenials are responsible for their own technology, as it is their private device, IT could get away from the omnipresent IT support issue as they will have less responsibility, costs will decrease for IT, and it is a sustainable Green IT approach. Or who wants to carry around two mobile phones, two tablets, two notebooks, and so on?

The challenge for company bosses? Millennials say that their job satisfaction is „strongly affected“ by the type of mobile device their employers provided. Isn’t this great? Just ask them what they want and you can increase personal productivity and work efficiency. Correct?

„Our research highlights the biggest challenges for IT departments: Millennials expect immediate responses, prefer a wider variety of communication channels and, when it comes to problem solving, often turn to Google and outside resources before contacting support,“ David Card, Research Director, GigaOM Pro.

Millenials will become difficult to handle though. 60% think that good support time for a technical problem to be solved is less than 10 minutes. Compared to IT managers who think that a reasonable time frame for solving tech problems was an hour or more, this calls for problems between the work forces in the future. No wonder, 80% of IT managers see Millennials as „different or very different than their older peers in terms of technology expectations“.

Spot On!
However, these two studies might sound like a massive IT change process for companies in the future. It has to said that 75% of Millennials rate their IT departments a six or seven on a seven-point scale. Maybe IT should think about setting up IT knowledge wikis instead of letting their employees loose time surfing on Google for a solution. Millenials are not expecting something outrageous, they might just be brighter in terms of technology handling, and show us that collaboration on social networks and in communities works when they are solving their issues without the IT department. They are just another generation. The transition managers need to rate that aspect, too…

What is your view on these new challenges for it?

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